New face mask advisory, not a mandate, issued in Kewaunee County
KEWAUNEE – It's a recommendation, not a requirement. The Kewaunee County Public Health Department issued an advisory Thursday morning, April 1, regarding the wearing of face masks in public.
Coming the day after the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down Gov. Tony Evers' ability to continue issuing statewide mask mandates without legislative approval, the Kewaunee County advisory encourages individuals who are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 to continue to wear face coverings when in a public setting or unable to be socially distant from individuals outside of their household to reduce their risk of exposure to COVID-19.
Cindy Kinnard, county public health director, said it's important for people to continue practicing many of the same public health protocols they have over the past year to help prevent the spread of the virus.
The county's number of positive cases and its percentage of positive tests, the latter among the highest in the state for most of December and January, have dramatically decreased in recent weeks before sharply rising again over the past week. And, health experts across the country continue to warn of another surge in COVID-19 cases if people stop their public health practices, even if they've been vaccinated against the disease.
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“We have made significant progress in reducing the number of positive COVID-19 cases in Kewaunee County, and if we continue to mask on our own, continue to hand wash and sanitize frequently, continue to social distance and stay home when sick, we can keep our active case numbers low or even bring that number down to zero, getting us back to a sense of normality,” Kinnard said in a press release.
“To be clear, Kewaunee County is not mandating that the public masks. We are simply recommending continued use of face coverings.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said individuals who may be the most vulnerable to COVID-19 include those diagnosed with asthma, cancer, chronic kidney disease, cerebrovascular disease, COPD, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, Down syndrome, heart conditions, hypertension, liver disease, neurologic conditions, obesity, pulmonary fibrosis, pregnancy, sickle cell disease, smoking, thalassemia, and weakened immune systems from blood or bone marrow transplants, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids or use of other immunity-weakening medicines.
Also, the health department is continuing to administer COVID-19 vaccines to those eligible to receive it, having given 4,274 doses as of March 26. Those who are eligible to receive the vaccine and would like to be placed on the department’s waiting list can call 920-388-7160 or visit the Public Health page and click "Contact Us" on the county government website, kewauneeco.org.
Contact Christopher Clough at 920-741-7952, 920-562-8900 or [email protected].
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: New face mask advisory, not a mandate, issued in Kewaunee County